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Chapter 8. Internet and TCP/IP Connectio... > Ordering the Service - Pg. 217

Internet and TCP/IP Connection Options 217 Relying on the New Connection Wizard Windows XP includes a Wizard that can connect via modem to a toll-free line operated by Microsoft, offer you a choice of ISPs, and sign you up for service, without your having to lift much more than a finger. Before you let the wizard narrow the range of choices for you, remember that its range of choices is narrow to begin with. You'll probably want to do some research on your own. Then you can use the wizard to see if it recommends your ultimate choice. If it does, you can let it help you set up the account. Choosing Equipment You need to purchase equipment that's compatible with the particular type of Internet service you'll be using. If you're going to use dial-up service, your computer probably came with a modem pre- installed, so you don't have any choices to make. If you are going to buy new connection hardware, here are some points to consider: · Most broadband services require specific hardware that your ISP provides. (You can sometimes buy a DSL or cable modem independently, but be sure it's compatible with the equipment your ISP uses). In addition, broadband modems connect via USB or through an Ethernet network adapter. If your service needs a network adapter, be sure it's Windows XP compatible. This isn't such a great concern now that Windows XP has been around for a while because every vendor has had time to become XP compatible. However, not all of them have invested the effort to get Microsoft certified, so it's still worth checking the list. · If you're going to share your Internet connection with other computers via a LAN, please read Chapter 18 before making any hardware purchases, as there are some nifty special hardware setups you might want to consider. · Above all, be sure any hardware that you plug directly into the computer (modem or LAN adapter) appears in the Windows Catalog (www.windowsmarketplace.com) or in the Windows XP Hard- ware Compatibility List (http://www.microsoft.com/hcl). This isn't such a great concern now that Windows XP has been around for a while, as every vendor has had time to become XP com- patible. However, not all of them have invested the effort to get Microsoft certified, so it's still worth checking the list before you make any purchases. · For dial-up service, choose a modem that is compatible with the fastest service level provided by your ISP. They should be using V.90 modems for 56Kbps service. If your ISP still uses X2 or K6Flex modems, they're way behind the times. Some ISPs support the new V.92 call-waiting protocol. If you have a modem that supports this feature, ask prospective ISPs if they support it and if there's an additional charge. Ordering the Service Ordering standard dial-up modem Internet service is really quite simple. Just call the ISP, talk to the sales department, and ask the sales representative to mail or fax you instructions for configuring Windows XP. In fact, it's easy enough that they might just talk you through it over the phone. Ordering ISDN service is quite a different matter. The most difficult part is getting the ISDN telephone line ordered and installed correctly, because ISDN service has a bewildering number of options, all specified in telephone-companyese. What you want is standard "2B+D, two data and voice" service with no extra-cost features. TIP Your best bet is to have your ISP order an ISDN line for you. If they won't, some ISDN modem manufacturers--for example, 3COM--will order your ISDN service for you.